About Anthony

Anthony Pensabene is a writer and business strategist. He works with peers and clients on a variety of projects and willing to accept all forms of payment in return for good work. He moonlights as a professional Laser Tag player and writes bios in third-person. Please share in his composed adventures at Content Muse.

Can also be found languishing on:

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#13 – Using Gmail and Free Haro Emails for PR Success

How do consumers qualify your brand as a reputable source and consistent supplier of sought goods and services?

Your products and services ‘need speak for themselves,’ but before purchase your brand needs to make a great impression.

What kinds of qualifiers presently strengthen your brand?


This brand celebrates its grace upon the pages of the New York Times.  Of course, the exposure is a huge win, additionally allowing the brand to remind future readers of the profile.

Who wouldn’t want the exposure in addition to the ‘as seen in’ trophy, qualifying the brand and making an impression on present and future consumers?

HARO, help a reporter out, hosts reporter and editor queries, creating great PR opportunity for those who can use it well.

To start, sign up for free email alerts from HARO from the service’s homepage.

Emails feature several categories, such as Business and Finance,

but best practice warrants finding those most befitting to one’s PR wishes.

Do you have time to search through multiple emails per day while attending to core business matters?

Search operation increases time efficiency when owners do not have preferred in-house or third party PR direction and service.  Furthermore, using operators sheds light upon queries placed in obscure categories or emailed at inopportune times. 

Search Operators

Creating a separate Gmail account allows for expedited roving.  Gmail search operators help identify key terms and brand associations.

For example, a busy head officer may not have time for searching HARO emails in the diligent manner success warrants.  But one searching for a real estate query, as featured above, may latently find it by exercising the following search operation:

From:HARO “real estate”

This elicits all emails from HARO with real estate appearing in text.  Moreover, one can further define.

Combine real estate with other terms such as ‘California’ like so:

From:HARO(real estate California)

This elicits all emails from HARO with real estate AND California in text.

However, even with the provided power of accelerated perusal, timing needs more attention regarding key terms and phrases; particular key terms are worthy of immediate alert.

For additional help, see this search operators resource.

Key Terms and Alerts

Attention to timing is precedent in PR.  Aside from search operation, alerts aligned with key terms need further attendance.  Create an email filter for your business’ key terms and phrases.

For example, here we’re setting a filter for all emails coming from HARO with the key phrase, “green energy” in text.

Being extra attentive to queries accelerates chances of having offered insight selected and your brand featured.

We can archive, star, and forward queries to chosen addresses.

Outside Counsel

Sometimes business owners and smaller outfits do not have the opportunity to field live PR opportunities, asking third parties for aid in crafting good pitches and addressing reporters’ time-sensitive queries.

Rather than hire an ongoing service or in-house PR person, business owners can create a separate Gmail account allowing outside parties access; the third-party may act as both a counselor and as a brand-associated PR person, increasing the professionalism of the exchange.

Summing Up

Benefits of PR include:

-          Increased sales

-          Ongoing brand relevance

-          Expression of brand strength and authority

In-house PR people and third-party agencies come at cost, but leveraging free and available resources, such as Gmail and HARO produce PR success as well.

-          Use search operators, unearthing specified queries related to important key terms and publications.

-          Instill processes of increased urgency for special brand-focused terms and phrases, forwarding messages and further filtering them.

-          Consider using outside counsel to strengthen pitches and increase expressed professionalism.

 

 

All the Coolz Authorz Boxz

My Name is Willie. Recognize. This is MY place…along with Revell, Hathaway, and Pensabene (I taught that dude all he knows about PR by the way.)  I write just to get links; because, really, that’s how businesses have succeeded since the beginning of time..by attracting links.  Forget PR, exposure, making impressions, and CONVERSIONS.  It’s about links and creating fake, transparent relationships.

I observe some people in SEO (and their clients) to be quite full of shit, saying whatever it takes to put cash in pocket while trying so hard to make others think well of them.  I’ve been around the block a time or two; I smell something foul in the state of online marketing. ;)  (But, what the fuck do I know- I’m just a toy action figure.) Ta-ta for now, kids.

[You can find my partner in writing crime, Anthony, writing here, Content Muse, and SkyrocketSEO.]

#12 – Dear Universities, Teach Internet Marketing

Hello, hello again, banditos of our humble cantina.  This is a double-shot week of the Saloon, and be expecting more guest posts from Saloon enthusiasts.  We’re forming like Voltron up in the Saloon.

United we stand at the Saloon, until the fourth to fifth scotch on the rocks is poured.  Then we wobble and sit.  Be on the lookout for more shots coming from our friends in the community.

Veni, vidi, vici, bitches.  Much like the military genius of the Three Amigos,

we have ingrained in the community of the people and have all surrounded.  There’s no escaping this.

Today, we are proud to welcome a guest post by Alex Morask.  I don’t need to introduce homeboy; he’s inquisitive and will grab your attention himself.  We were all impressed by his thoughts on teaching Internet marketing at universities.  Being a student, he can walk the talk, giving insight about what’s on the mind of younger practitioners eager to learn more.

He’s a sharp guy and great writer.  Dude’s coming out guns blazing.  Say hello to our younger friend.

 

For those of you who don’t know me, which I assume is almost everyone, I’m Alex Morask, a 21 year old college student studying advertising and marketing at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In addition, I’m an aspiring inbound marketer, and for the past two years I’ve been reading, theorizing and learning about this ever-evolving field as it has truly become a wonderful passion of mine.

I gained what online marketing knowledge I have now by routinely following an assortment of blogs, signing up for a lot of newsletters, pounding through all sorts of marketing Ebooks, pestering industry experts for advice (sorry Mr. Pulizzi), attending webinars and in person events and even taking online certification courses. Basically, if your company gates valuable marketing content behind lead gen forms, then I’m the annoying kid who downloads it as a completely unqualified lead.

What I have never done is taken a college course that has developed or amplified my skillset and understanding of internet marketing. This is not because I was scared of increasing my workload, or because I ever thought I was intellectually above these courses, it’s because they simply do not exist.

As all of you know, online marketing is experiencing tremendous and rapid growth. Hubspot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing declares, “The distribution of marketing budgets is shifting towards inbound channels and the difference between inbound and outbound marketing expenditures grew by 50% from 2011 to 2012”. The report goes on to state that 47% of the businesses surveyed planned on increasing their inbound marketing budgets in the coming year.

The Content Marketing Institute, in their 2012 B2B Content Marketing Research Report, stated that 9 out of 10 organizations market with content marketing and, on average, spend over a quarter of their entire marketing budget on this specific channel. Now, I know not all inbound/content marketing is done online, but I think it’s fair to say that the most important parts are.

I cited the statistics above as evidence of the increasing importance of holistic and strategic internet marketing, especially for B2B firms in competitive sectors. Yet, despite this growth, and the growth of online marketing’s various components such as content strategy, SEO, web analytics, PR, PPC and social media, I bet you’d be hard pressed to find an accredited university that teaches internet marketing (as a degree) on their campus. “But Alex,” someone might ask, “What about all of the online degrees available?”

The Problem With Online Degrees.

I’m well aware that you can earn an internet marketing degree through various online schools, sometimes even from accredited programs such as Full Sail. However, if you really think about how college selection works for recently graduated high-schoolers, how many of them have an online university in their college consideration set?  Better yet, how many of them do you think are unwaveringly sure of what they want to do in terms of their careers? My guess would be not many. And you can’t sign up for an online university without knowing exactly what you want to study, because online schools lack the general education requirements that brick and mortar universities have. This means that students don’t have those preliminary two years (freshman and sophomore year) to feel out what they like and don’t like while fulfilling their gen-ed requirements. Thus, a student like me who became infatuated with Internet Marketing halfway through my college career, has no options to choose from besides paying for additional, online schooling on top of an already exorbitant college tuition.

Colleges teaching internet marketing would allow the field to universally become an acceptable undergraduate degree, such as human resources or journalism is. It can be a discipline with a set itinerary and a list of course requirements that would further solidify standards for the field. Students can choose it, declare it and learn it from the ground up. They’ll be taught definitions, theories and strategies and have the chance to implement those strategies in a classroom of their peers, under the guidance of a trusted professional. Online schools that currently offer courses could be used as graduate or masters programs (Full Sail’s already is). And unaccredited, online certification courses, such as Market Motive or the Online Marketing Institute could be used to teach new practices as well as hold professionals up to an agreed upon industry standard. If this works for other disciplines, then why can’t it work for us?

Yes, the field is constantly changing. I understand that this presents a major challenge in the system I’m proposing. However, I feel like this problem can be overcome by allotting a certain of amount of class time to discussing the industry’s emerging trends. In addition, there’s always the blogs, Ebooks, webinars and other frequently updated resources to fall back on. As the expanding mass of online certification courses has shown; internet marketing will always be taught, no matter how frequently it changes. So if the subject is going to be taught, why not organize the teaching method using respected, accredited institutions that have a larger and more developed network than most online programs? Not only would this better prepare internet marketing students for work outside of school, but it would also aid prospective employers in hiring the right kind of talent for their digital marketing needs because they can target their efforts on actual internet marketing students. Do you realize how little my advertising degree means to an employer considering me for position in content strategy or SEO?

The Curriculum

Now, I haven’t even graduated college yet. In other words, I have absolutely no experience in creating or administering an educational course. I simply crafted this curriculum so that we, as a community, have a starting point for discussion and refinement of this topic. The chosen courses are based on a skillset that I believe would be most beneficial for an internet marketer coming out of college. Please note that freshman and sophomore years are often used to fulfill general college requirements and, in my experience, are rarely slated with major-related courses. Therefore, I’ll start with junior year.

Junior Year – 1st Semester

 

  • Internet Marketing Fundamentals
  • Marketing Research
  • Introduction to Information Technology
  • Applied Business Economics
  • 2 Non-Major Electives (Courses required by the school such as Literature, Sociology, etc.)

Junior Year – 2nd Semester

 

  • Introduction to Search Engine Marketing
  • Analytics & Web-Based Measurement
  • Introduction to Content Strategy
  • Social Media Marketing Fundamentals
  • Public Relations Principles
  • Non Major Elective

Senior Year – 1st Semester

 

  • Consumer Behavior
  • Web Conversion Optimization
  • Digital Marketing Ethics
  • Major Elective (See below)
  • Non Major Elective
  • (Add another elective based on credit requirements)

Senior Year – 2nd Semester

 

  • Inbound Marketing Management
  • Internet Marketing Tools
  • Non Major Elective
  • 2 Major Electives
  • (Add another Non Major Elective based on credit requirements)

Major Related Objective Examples:

 

  • Advanced PPC Strategy (Required: Intro to Search Engine Marketing)
  • Advanced Social Media (Required: Social Media Marketing Fundamentals)
  • Advanced SEO (Required: Intro to Search Engine Marketing)
  • Advanced Web Analytics (Required: Analytics & Web-Based Measurement)
  • Web Copywriting & Content Production
  • Graphic Design Fundamentals
  • B2B Marketing Specialization
  • Web Design & User Experience Fundamentals
  • Technical SEO & Information Architecture
  • Introduction to Computer Programming
  • Other IT or Web Development Courses


I believe the curriculum above has a solid mix of both internet marketing courses and general business courses that can appease the universities. The curriculum appears incomplete because it only sets a solid base from which students can further choose a niche or discipline by taking the major-related elective options. Also, the requirements for non-major related electives obviously varies from college to college. At Marquette, the requirements are particularly high and I fit that into this curriculum. At other schools, more Major related courses may be able to fill those spots.

Now Over to You.

What do you think of the curriculum above? Do you think it’s feasible in major universities? The purpose of this post was to drive discussion amongst us marketers so I’d love to hear your opinion. Also, any education professionals, please chime in!

#11 – The Everything Ever Guide to FSearch Because We Said So

Hey there, Saloon banditos.

This post has absolutely no fucking direct relation to corporate-hoodie book or search engine inboundimization, but about Shamanism, an apropos topic as any.

Shamans command respect via ability to serve as mediums, gateways to special knowledge/physical abilities, which others have not been ordained by higher powers to achieve, kinda like CrissAngel.

Some people self educate, take recreational drugs, and do the actual fucking work to replicate the acumen of shaman.  But silly, silly mortal, ask any shaman; you can’t do what they can.

Margery Wolf studied shamanism in Taiwan, finding particular peoples believed shamans possessed by gods, secular vehicles for the will of the gods.  In other places, say in North America, your average, possibly overweight (Thanks Coke!) American will think the former peoples to be bat-shit crazy.

On the other side of the bedlam pillow, particular peoples who champion shamans, may believe Americans’ forms of entertainment to be quite embarrassing on a deep, human level.

#americandream2k

Notice the educator’s discourse in addressing his anthropology class:

In contemporary North American or Western European culture, such experiences are discouraged, except among some marginalised sub-groups, or perhaps as part of medical hypnosis. Under these circumstances, many, perhaps most individuals go through life without experiencing altered states of consciousness. A high proportion of those who do experience them will be labelled “crazy”, “stoned” or “drunk”. Their experiences will be dismissed as “hallucinations”, “dissociation” or “fantasy,” unless they happen to belong to a religious group that values “visions” or “conversion” experiences, in which case, as in Wolf’s example, they may have to subject their claims of other-worldly experience to the scrutiny of their peers.

So, if you got em, smoke em.  But shaman who be smokin the swindler pipe beware; someone among the strawberry fields may call Mary Jane out, asking for ‘just the facts, ma’am’ or worse, real-time data.

However, that’s unlikely regarding the docile, those accepting the unnatural order and the elite with special abilities/thoughts.  The sheep maintain the status quo, enabling such shaman to elect themselves or tell us they have the special privilege of telling us a higher power has privileged them.

Abracadabra, bitches – wake up and get the lead out.

Do you know how Led Zeppelin came about with the band name?  I read a biography on the group during a week’s worth of Algebra classes.  Someone expressed their style of music ‘would go over like a lead zeppelin.’  Me and generations of fans and practitioner’s emulating them are glad Zep didn’t listen.  Similarly, I had a professor who once remarked, “You’ll never be a writer.”  Oh?

Here’s another list of things stated by those in power. I’ve extracted a few gems.

“You’ll never make it — four groups are out.”
– Anonymous record company executive to the Beatles, 1962

“While theoretically and technically television may be feasible,
commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a development
of which we need waste little time dreaming.”
– Lee De Forest, 1926

“Radio has no future.”
– Lord Kelvin

“Flight by machines heavier than air is impractical and insignificant, if
not utterly impossible.”
– Simon Newcomb, Director, U.S. Naval Observatory, 1902

Keep dreaming. Keep doing/testing…for yourself, but not because I said so, savvy?